The reputation of canned tomatoes have suffered greatly due to mass production and this is an absolutely pivotal ingredient for pizza. Most are produced all over the planet and then canned in Italy (to get the label Made in Italy). The collapse of trading barriers has pushed the search for the cheapest commodity, ending up with a bad refrigerated product while at the same time pushing the consequence of cheap labour and soil exploitation to far away lands.
Where still cultivated by intensive methods in Italy, tomatoes for the canning industry has created a real environmental disaster with the Sarno River reaching the status of one of the most polluted rivers in Europe. In this situation, we have turned to organic and localized production, something that will not leave a bad taste in the mouth.
Fresh Tomatoes have been produced in recent decades for shape, uniformity, consistency and packaging in places like sunny Belgium. A small segment of the market now wants the misshapen odd looking tomato that for a long time had been selected for taste. We have seen a welcome revival of “heritage tomatoes” in the UK. You will see a lot of these on our summer menu.
Some very simple rules for tomatoes…..
1. It is very difficult to find good canned tomatoes, so taste the product and always read the label carefully. It should have a sweet taste, a long finish with some natural acidity.
2. There are no good fresh tomatoes in winter.
3. There are no good tomatoes that are uniform in size and shape (these are just convenient supermarkets products).
4. The Tomato is a fruit so if it tastes like a vegetable it’s wrong!